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Do not pay or send SMS/text messages to download Live Messenger or Messenger Plus!
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Menthix
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O.P. Do not pay or send SMS/text messages to download Live Messenger or Messenger Plus!
People recently started to report sites asking them to pay by SMS/text messages to install Windows Live Messenger (MSN) or Messenger Plus!. This isn't something new, sites like these have unfortunately existed for years and were never taken down. However, it looks like these kind of malware sites started to advertise on a large scale on places like Google Adsense. Just google for "Live Messenger" and you'll get multiple ads.

Windows Live Messenger and Messenger Plus! are 100% free, you must never activate their installation by phone. Always download software from the official sites.
Windows Live Messenger (formerly named MSN Messenger) can be found on http://download.live.com/messenger
Messenger Plus! Live can be found on http://www.msgpluslive.net/download/

Because software like Live Messenger and Messenger Plus! are freeware you can send it to your friends and other sites are allowed to redistribute it. However, it is not allowed to be sold. It is a scam if a site is asking you to send a text message from your mobile. While these type of sites may look very official they have no permission or connection to Microsoft or Patchou. The people making these sites are trying to earn some quick money by charging you a premium rate for the messages you sent. Often this automatically registers you for a subscription based service where you keep paying for the text messages you receive until you unsubscribe. Unsubscribing is intentionally made very hard to make you pay as much as possible. If you were victim of one of these sites, make sure you unsubscribe so you stop receiving paid messages, contact your mobile phone network if you're unsure how to stop the service.

Even if a site does not ask you to pay, the file you download could still be modified to include a virus, for that reason always download from the official site or a trusted mirror.



For those who want to help fight these kind of sites (Do not download from these sites):
hxxp://messenger-comp.com/
hxxp://messenger-plus-co.com/
hxxp://msn90.gooofull.com/
hxxp://www.messenger-2009.info/
hxxp://www.messenger-msn-9.info/
hxxp://www.messengerplus-2009.net/
hxxp://www.msn-messenger-9.org/
hxxp://messenger-plus.programas-gratis.net/
hxxp://messenger-plus-live.download11.com/
hxxp://messenger-plus-live.10001downloads.com/
hxxp://msgplus.programasvista.com/
hxxp://messenger-plus-full.info/
hxxp://mesengermsn.info/
hxxp://messengerplus.ms/
hxxp://mesenger.us/
hxxp://mesenger-plus.info/
hxxp://mesengermsn.net/
hxxp://mesengermsn.org/
hxxp://messenger-9.us/
hxxp://messenger-msn-9.com/
hxxp://messenger-msn-9.info/
hxxp://messenger-msn-9.net/
hxxp://messenger-msn-9.org/
hxxp://messenger-msn.org/
hxxp://messenger-plus.net/
hxxp://messengerplus-plus.info/
hxxp://msn-messenger-9.com/
hxxp://msn-messenger-9.info/
hxxp://msn-messenger-9.net/
hxxp://msn-messenger-9.org/
hxxp://msnmesenger.org/
hxxp://www-messenger.org/
hxxp://messenger-plus-live-co.com/
hxxp://messenger75-co.com/

Not only are these sites malware by making the visitor pay to install freeware software, the files they offer also seem to contain viruses. These are reports from a few downloads on the sites above:
http://www.virustotal.com/analisis/4eadc9a54bd5b5e172791923757101d2
http://www.virustotal.com/analisis/7c6aac133117909dd94ca2d1e0fdf48e
http://www.virustotal.com/analisis/657673093d8e69583d420790ef756eff
http://www.virustotal.com/analisis/704dd20a61d55b2d1c655d208308fdd1
http://www.virustotal.com/analisis/91dcdf6b71a526c994936f38c4eea04f
http://www.virustotal.com/analisis/eb8b3889a5acb31ec4870264b3566316

Complaining to their hosters might help (although unsuccessful last time), reporting these sites as malware/phishing inside your browser might also help.

This post was edited on 02-20-2009 at 04:23 PM by Menthix.
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01-18-2009 04:41 PM
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RE: Do not pay or send SMS/text messages to download Live Messenger or Messenger Plus!
possible o/t

yes these sites are annoying, but unless these sites are linking to official links after you have paid, most won't be break the law. as you're paying for access to files they host, not the program its self.
01-18-2009 05:29 PM
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Menthix
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O.P. RE: Do not pay or send SMS/text messages to download Live Messenger or Messenger Plus!
quote:
Originally posted by toddy
unless these sites are linking to official links after you have paid, most won't be break the law. as you're paying for access to files they host
Depends on the software's license. Unfortunately Patchou doesn't state anything clear about it.

* Menthix slaps Patchou with a proper license
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01-18-2009 06:19 PM
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MeEtc
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RE: Do not pay or send SMS/text messages to download Live Messenger or Messenger Plus!
quote:
Originally posted by MenthiX
quote:
Originally posted by toddy
unless these sites are linking to official links after you have paid, most won't be break the law. as you're paying for access to files they host
Depends on the software's license. Unfortunately Patchou doesn't state anything clear about it.

* MenthiX slaps Patchou with a proper license
Thats what hotlink detection is for.
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01-18-2009 06:21 PM
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Menthix
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O.P. RE: Do not pay or send SMS/text messages to download Live Messenger or Messenger Plus!
A bit of an update:

Just saw a post on TorrentFreak about this scam. The companies behind these sites, Netlink Network Corp. and Panama-based Soletto Group SA, are also selling various freeware torrent clients. Apparently the folks at TorrentFreak got the UK payments to shutdown by complaining to UK SMS regulator PhonepayPlus. This isn't keeping them from selling in other countries and switching to another UK service, but it's a start. Read the post at BitTorrent Scam Shutdown After SMS Regulations Breach, Messenger Plus! is mentioned at the end too.

Microsoft's legal team is also made aware also. Not sure if they will be taking any action.
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01-27-2009 11:39 PM
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Voldemort
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RE: Do not pay or send SMS/text messages to download Live Messenger or Messenger Plus!
why not put a big red message before the links that says "DO NOT CLICK, SCAM SITES BELOW"? some newb will actually end up downloading stuff from there

(i do know they are not clickable)

This post was edited on 01-28-2009 at 02:54 AM by Voldemort.
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01-28-2009 02:52 AM
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